Today was a day of 1000 little hands. Each time we arrived at one of the neighborhoods to visit with one of the Panua entrepreneurs, we were greeted by the wonderful smiling children of the village. They are so polite! As they reached up to take our hand they’d say “How are you?” with their native accent. The common answer is always, “I am fine!” So many children walking with us holding our hands, or, in my case, rubbing my hairy arms, too, as we walked! Such beautiful, happy children who love having visitors.
Today we visited the KCC neighborhood and distributed sponsor letters to the Panua youth (see photo of Samson reading his letter). We enjoyed making mosaic hearts with them all. It’s truly been a highlight for them to do this with us. I look forward to putting the full design together next week!
Each morning as we leave the hotel the same awesome young man wishes us off to have a great day. Today, I asked him to teach me the Kenyan handshake because I just could tell it was quite a bit different than ours. Turns out that it’s a four position shake where the first position which starts up high means “How are you,” then “How is your wife?” (down low), then “How are your children?” (back to high), and lastly, “God bless you” (low). It’s a warming feeling in your heart because you are communicating without speaking. It comes from your touch and your heart.
It was a very hefty schedule today. We visited several Panua businesses – a street vendor, a marketvendor, two welding businesses, two hair salons, and a motorcycle repair business (look closely at the photo!). All of these businesses are off to a great start. Seeing the sparkle in each person’s eyes was a great experience. You could see the pride of ownership and a genuine feeling of success. It’s wonderful to see how successful these entrepreneurs are becoming with very little investment of money, but a huge investment of hope, direction and LOVE.
The Panua project truly is making a huge difference in these people’s lives and the lives of those around them.
Cornerstone United Methodist Church